UPDATE: What we wrote below is based on what Chris thought he heard at the meeting. The trouble is, when you are not allowed to ask questions , it’s possible to get things wrong. See the post on October 22nd.
The Conservatives have backtracked on their ideas on Grange Community Centre in Rayleigh. They were going to make the voluntary association pay out over ?21,000 for repairs to the building and then increase the rent from ?50 per year to ?4000!
Because of the bad publicity this has attracted in the past week – and the Lib Dem promise to refer it up to full council for a very fierce debate – they have changed their mind. Instead the rent will stay at ?50 for the next year whilst the council pays for the repairs. And then in a years time the council will negotiate a new rent level.
This is a good night – another success.
But two things smell a little bit. First of all, Cllr Mavis Webster said that the council had monies set aside for these repairs. Well, that wasn’t mentioned in the report and how come the council had been trying to force the association to pay?
Also the cabinet want to put two district councillors onto the committee of the association. But rather than putting forward the two ward members for Sweyne Park Ward, Conservative Joan Mockford and Lib Dem Jackie Dillnutt, they are suggesting Conservative Mavis Webster instead of Jackie. The decision on this will be made at full council, but presumably the Tory view on this is “If you’re a Lib Dem, you don’t count”.
We will be reminding the Conservatives very firmly at the next full council meeting that people in Sweyne Park Ward elected Jackie in May to represent their concerns and act on their behalf!